“Are You Washed in the Blood?”

"…And washed us from our sins in His own blood…" (Rev. 1.5)

     INTRO.: A hymn which asks if we have been washed from our sins in the blood of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God is "Are You Washed In The Blood?" (#307 in Hymns for Worship Revised and #613 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune (Washed in the Blood) was composed both by Elisha Albright Hoffman (1839-1929). A minister in the Evangelical Church, he is perhaps best-known for his "I Must Tell Jesus," but he also provided words or music or both to a number of other beloved hymns, such as "Glory To His Name," "Is Thy Heart Right With God?", "Leaning On The Everlasting Arms," and "To Christ Be True." "Are You Washed In The Blood" was first published in the 1878 Spiritual Songs for Gospel Meeting and the Sunday School edited at Cleveland, OH, for Barker and Smellie by Hoffman and John Harrison Tenney (1840-1918). Its popularity is likely due in part to its inclusion in Ira D. Sankey’s 1881 Sacred Songs and Solos. The American poet, Vachel Lindsey, used part of the text in his poem "General William Booth Enters Heaven."

     Among songbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ the has appeared in almost every one beginning with the 1925 edition of the 1921 Great Songs of the Church (No. 1) edited by E. L. Jorgenson, including the 1937 Great Songs of the Church No. 2 also edited by Jorgenson; the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1), the 1948 Christian Hymns No. 2, and the 1966 Christian Hymns No. 3 all edited by L. O. Sanderson; the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch; and the 1963 Christian Hymnal edited by J. Nelson Slater. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church, the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed., and the 1994 Songs of Faith and Praise all edited by Alton H. Howard; the 1978/1983 Church Gospel Songs and Hymns edited by V. E. Howard; the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forrest M. McCann; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship, Sacred Selections, and the 2007 Sacred Songs for the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.

     The song enumerates some of the blessings of being washed in the blood.

I. Stanza 1 refers to receiving the cleansing power
"Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"
 A. To have our sins washed away, we come to Jesus since He is the one whom God sent to save sinful mankind: Matt. 1.21
 B. Therefore, He alone has the power to cleanse us: Eph. 5.25-27
 C. And this power is available to us because of God’s grace: Tit. 3.5-7

II. Stanza 2 refers to having fellowship with the Savior
"Are you walking daily by the Savior’s side?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Do you rest each moment in the Crucified?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"
 A. In order to have continual access to the cleansing blood of Jesus, we must walk by the Savior’s side in His light: 1 Jn. 1.7
 B. It is only by being cleansed in His blood and thus justified that we have access to and fellowship with God: Eph. 2.13-18
 C. As a result, we can rest or abide each moment in vital union with Him who was crucified for us: Jn. 15.1-7

III. Stanza 3 refers to being made ready for the Lord
"When the Bridegroom cometh, will your robes be white,
Pure and white in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?"
 A. Someday the Bridegroom will come for His people, and we need to be: Matt. 25.1-13
 B. The way that God has given for us to be ready is to have our robes be pure and white in the blood of the Lamb: Rev. 7.13-14
 C. Those who have thus made their robes white in the Lamb’s blood are ready for the mansions bright that He is preparing for His people: Jn. 14.1-3

IV. Stanza 4 refers to laying aside the garments that are stained with sin
"Lay aside the garments that are stained with sin,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb;
There’s a fountain flowing for the soul unclean,
O, be washed in the blood of the Lamb."
 A. Most people, when they have finished working and their clothes are dirty, want to put off those filthy clothes so that they can be washed; so it should be with sin: Eph. 4.22-24
 B. Like clothes that have been soiled with dirt, so when we disobey God’s law our souls are stained with sin: Rom. 3.23, 6.23
 C. However, God, by His grace through the blood of Jesus Christ, has made available a fountain for the soul unclean: Zech. 13.1

     CONCL.: The chorus continues to ask a question that each of us must think about if we hope to be right with God here and have the hope of heaven:
"Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul-cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?"
Through the years, this has been of the most popular gospel song texts ever written and is almost universally know. It has been a very effective invitation hymn as we ask those who are out of Christ, "Are You Washed In The Blood?"


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